Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Knives, guns on Asian Games security agenda

Zheng Zehui
Editor's Note:
The 2010 Asian Games will be held from November 10 to November 17 in Guangzhou, the capital of South China's Guangdong Province. As with the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, security around the city is strengthened. What measures are the Guangdong police taking to ensure orders during the Games? How can Guangdong manage its problems with drugs and guns, caused by the province's proximity to Hong Kong and Macao? People's Daily Online (PO) talked to Zheng Zehui(Zheng), head of the Public Security Management Office of Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department.
PO: What's the current security situation in Guangdong?
Zheng: Guangdong has a very large economy. The huge flow of people, goods and capital has also led to the complex security situation in the province.
Netizens are very concerned about the security situation in Guangdong, and some are saying there are many problems with the situation in the province. Visitors today will be happy with the improvement of social order in Guangdong.
PO: There has been a nationwide anti-obscenity campaign recently. Have measures been taken in Guangdong?
Zheng: We have intensified efforts to crack down on social evils through various methods over the past two years.
The places that might be involved are examined. Dance halls and saunas have been thoroughly searched and improved. They cannot restore operation until they have met our requirements.
Meanwhile, we've intensified unannounced visits, not only by the media but also public security departments, and verification measures as well. If two unannounced visits both find problems, the matter will be handled by public security.
We've also increased the investigation of prostitution and gambling by officers from other departments, which is a strong deterrent for criminals, and are more vigorously prosecuting cases, especially those involving organized or forced prostitution.
We've strengthened our internal supervision, severely punishing police officers who leak information to these groups.
PO: Many netizens are also concerned about the explosive and gun problems. Some time ago, a traffic policeman making a highway stop was shot dead by the driver. What do you think of this incident?
Zheng: We have attached a lot of importance to this work.
Guangdong's situation is quite special. It is close to Hong Kong and Macao and there is regular cross-border traffic, which results in the influx of firearms to Guangdong. Whether they come from Hong Kong and Macao or other places, it is a serious problem.
This year, we have set up a working interdepartmental group focused on the investigation of explosives and firearms.
We have listed some special cases involving gun and explosive as supervised cases which must be solved before a deadline. The trail of illegal firearms and explosives must be sniffed out. An investigation can expose a stash of weapons and many clues.
We have listed six areas as the key areas for explosives and firearms searches in Guangdong.
Then there is the fight online. Online transactions and distribution of information empower many criminal activities.
We have found a number of online firearms transactions, explosives sales and websites teaching how to make ex-plosives. Cases involving firearms this year have decreased by 20.2 percent.

PO: Guangzhou is considering adopting a ID registration system for the purchase of knives during the Asian Games. Will it be implemented across the whole province?
Zheng: No, only in Guangzhou and the main purpose is to guarantee a peaceful and successful Asian Games.
The real-name registration is mainly aimed at minors and persons with mental disorder or abnormal behavior.
For an ordinary person, it is easy to judge who is a minor. It can be confirmed by his ID card. It is necessary to report people with mental disorders according to individual feelings. With a timely report, we can follow the case up.
It is also easy to spot abnormal behavior. This measure is still being studied by the city government and has not been officially implemented.
PO: Guangdong has recently changed temporary resident permits issued to migrant workers into regular residence permits. Is there a substantive difference?
Zheng: Many people do not understand this and think it is just a new name. In fact, the change reflects that the floating population is now settling down to become permanent residents.
To some degree, it has affirmed the contributions made by migrant workers to the economic and social development in Guangdong over the years.
We also do our best to let the majority of the floating population enjoy the public services as much as possible, so it is not just a difference in concept. In essence, it is more human-centered.
The temporary residence permit system stressed the compulsory regulations. Migrant workers without a permit were sometimes detained. So they were forced to apply for a permit.
Now we are attracting the majority of the floating population to apply for permits, initially through a series of preferential policies. With the permit, they can enjoy the benefits of social services. So a lot of migrants are actively applying for permits.
The system has been being tried out in Shenzhen since 2008, and was implemented across the province at the start of this year.
By now, over 21 million migrants have obtained residence permits all over the province.
Currently, over 70 percent of the floating population hold permits and by the end of this year, this rate will exceed 90 percent.
PO: What benefits does this bring for public security?
Zheng: People are managed by the application of residence permits. Our public security department will check the correctness of gathered information.
By using the residence permits, our management system implements interconnected management of the whole province.
Whenever a permit holder changes his place of residence, he or she should refresh his or her card at our local pub-lic security organization.
As the card contains a chip and an erasable record bar, people can update their addresses easily whenever and wherever they move.
When someone leaves Guangdong, we can temporarily suspend his card when he or she goes back to his home town and activate it after he or she comes back.
By using these technologies, we can track the dynamics of the floating population within the province. Thus we have a full record.
Second, people are managed by their rented apartments. We tie all the rental apartments in the province with the IDs. Namely, people who live in the rented apartment should match our collected information.
Third, people are managed by enterprises. We have developed a system called the "Enterprise Employment System."
After recruiting someone, enterprises should report his or her information to the public security department. Then we can check whether he or she is a wanted person to guarantee the security of the enterprise.
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